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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Connolly Misses Coventry...Coventry Welcome Back Dowie...Ben Watson Still Leaving Crystal Palace..Stewart's Jamaica Recall..Ex-Rs Alan Comfort

Matthew Connolly will miss the R's trip to The Ricoh Arena on Saturday, owing to the red card he received at Carrow Road on Wednesday night.
The former Arsenal defender received his marching orders for two bookable offences in Rangers' 1-0 victory against Norwich City and will now serve a one-match ban.
In his absence, Latvian international Kaspars Gorkss - who shone following his first-half introduction at Carrow Road - and Fitz Hall, returning from a groin injury, are likely to compete for the vacant centre-back berth.
Meanwhile, Akos Buzsaky could be in line for his first start of the season following a cameo appearance from the bench on Wednesday, while Real Madrid loanee Daniel Parejo could also return. QPR Official Site

Coventry Telegraph/Andy Turner - Give Iain Dowie a good reception, say Coventry City players
COVENTRY CITY’S players are calling on the supporters to give former manager Iain Dowie and his backroom staff a warm reception when they make their first return to the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.
Now in charge of money-bags QPR, Dowie will be joined by the ever popular Tim Flowers – a childhood Sky Blues fan – and fitness coach John Harbin back at the stadium for the first time with another club.
“I think that Iain Dowie should get a good reception from our fans because he didn’t do anything wrong while he was here,” said fans favourite Jay Tabb.
"We had some great performances under him and he was in charge during a tough time for the club.
“We didn’t get paid for a week after we should have been three months in a row and he had no money to spend but did a good job.
"Although Iain has gone on to another club, he should get a really good reception for what he did here.
"But we have got another excellent manager now and it is up to us to do him proud on Saturday.”
Dowie was sacked last February following a sequence of poor results and due to differences with chairman Ray Ranson.
But he remains a popular figure with the players, Tabb adding: “I am looking forward to seeing him – I have got on with all my managers in my career.
It will be like the circus coming to town with all QPR’s money.
"I am sure they will have the best bus in the division and loads of staff and kit-men, but I don’t think Iain and John will let that affect the players because they are such professional people who will want to make sure that, first and foremost, they win the game.
“Even though the club is one of the richest in the country, if not the world, they won’t let that affect them and their hard work.
"They will be coming here desperate to beat us, just as we will be desperate to beat them and put in a good performance to show them that they left a good side.”
Leon Best, who Dowie bought to the club from Southampton, says he will save the pleasantries until after the game.
“It will be a special occasion but we need the three points against a good team who have spent a lot of money,” he said.
“We will do the shaking of the hands after the game rather than before, and hopefully go out and do our job. I want to show him that I am progressing and go out and score against them.
“He will definitely want to get one over his former club, just like everyone does when they come up against their old club.
"They always want to come back and haunt you but we want to do it over QPR for the fans." Coventry Telegraph

Coventry Telegraph - Danny Fox
THERE was no getting away from it on Tuesday night, we were absolutely gutted not to have won the game after the amount of effort we put in.
Bramall Lane is an intimidating place to go to but we went up there and played with great confidence - just as we do in training.
The gaffer sees us doing it every day and he just told us to go out and do it when it really matters.
And if we can keep that level of performance we showed, particularly in the first half, then I am convinced we will win a lot more games than we lose this season.
The boys are all fired up and can't wait for Saturday, just to put on a performance for the fans after going so close to victory at Sheffield United.
We are obviously up against our old manager, Iain Dowie, but the only thing on my mind is getting three points for Coventry City.
I am really grateful to Iain for having the faith in me to bring me to this club and putting me straight in the team.
I haven't really looked back, so hopefully I can put in a good performance to justify him bringing me here in the first place.
I want to keep progressing and learning all the time, which I feel I am doing in training with the help of the gaffer and Steve Kean....
I can assure the fans that we are really up for Saturday's match.
We are desperate to put on a good performance for them and hopefully come 5.00pm they will be heading back home happy after a really good win over QPR. Coventry Telegraph

Croydon Advertiser - Watson won't reconsider deal decision
Ben Watson will not reconsider his decision to reject a new Selhurst Park contract, the Advertiser can reveal.
There has been major question marks over the future of the 22-year-old during the summer months after it emerged QPR boss Iain Dowie was keen on bringing the Eagles academy graduate to Loftus Road.
Watson, whose current deal runs out at the end of this season, has already snubbed the one contract offer with the midfielder understood to have his heart set on a move to west London.
Boss Neil Warnock told the Advertiser earlier this year that the contract would have made Watson the highest paid player at the club and with that in mind, the Selhurst Park manager decided not to use the midfielder during the opening few weeks of the current campaign.
But with the departure of Tom Soares to Stoke City, Watson has started Palace's previous two Championship clashes and even scored the opener in the 2-0 victory over Swansea City.
Warnock thinks Watson has been badly advised by his representatives over his future but recalling the red-headed midfielder for his side's last two outings has raised hopes that the south Londoner could still sign a long term loan deal at SE25.
But speaking to the Advertiser, Warnock has revealed that he has spoken to Watson in a bid to get him to change his mind - but the Eagles boss has confirmed that the midfielder still will not put pen to paper on a new deal.
He said: "I've spoken to Ben about whether he will reconsider and he won't. He has told me nothing has changed." For the full story see tomorrow's Advertiser - Croydon Advertiser

Damion Stewart, who overcame concussion to star in Wednesday night's victory against Norwich City, has been called up to the Jamaican national squad.
The giant defender will link up with the Reggae Boyz on Monday 6th October ahead of World Cup qualifying fixtures against Mexico and Honduras.
The 28 year-old was a rock at the heart of the R's defence at Carrow Road, despite spending the previous night in a Norwich hospital, after a training ground clash left him concussed.
Stewart underwent a CT scan after colliding with youngster Josh Ford during a light training session ahead of the match.
Boss Iain Dowie, albeit against the doctor's advice, chose to start the Jamaican defender - and it proved to be an inspired decision.
"Damion didn't know where he was on Tuesday night," Head Physio Paul Hunter told www.qpr.co.uk.
Dowie added: "He was advised not to play, but he felt a bit brighter in the morning and said he wanted to play.
"That was all I needed to hear from him.
"He's been in terrific form and I didn't want to leave him out. He came up with an absolutely outstanding performance in the circumstances." QPR

Football League - Where Are They Now? - Alan Comfort
A crippling injury forced Alan Comfort into early retirement at Leyton Orient - but he is now using his religion to help out at Brisbane Road.
Comfort was 25 and a winger with a bright future when he suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury that meant him hanging up his boots for good.
The devastating blow could have ruined him. Comfort had only ever been a footballer.
So he decided to pursue his only other passion and study Christianity.
He said: "I picked up the knee injury in November 1989. It wasn't a bad tackle, I actually got hurt after being pushed.
"Within six months I was told that I would not be able to play at that level again, and I was truly shocked.
"Apart from football, the only other thing I really cared about was my belief in God, so I decided to look further into that."
Comfort attended Cambridge Theological College and spent three years studying to ensure he would be able to find work.
And he found a way to combine his love of football and God.
He explained: "Everyone else on the course had done a degree, but all I knew was football.
"It was difficult but it actually worked out well thanks to the communication skills I had developed in my time at Middlesbrough and Orient.
"In 1994 I began to work at a church near West Ham's training ground in Chadwell Heath and from there I became Club Chaplain at Leyton Orient."
Comfort remains in his role with the O's to this day and loves the fact he has been able to stay in football.
He said: "It's a fulfilling position. Until two years ago I even trained with the first team once a week but now my knee has deteriorated to such a degree that I can't join in.
"I still go into the dressing rooms and I know all the players.
"My role is to spot whether a player seems unhappy and if that's the case then I talk to them and try to help them.
"Players have all sorts of problems. Settling into a new area can be difficult. Wives have miscarriages, that sort of thing.
"And in one tragic case a player's brother was murdered. I am always there for them."
In the area he is now better known as the Reverend Alan Comfort thanks to his position at St Mary's Church in Loughton, Essex.
Comfort added: "At Orient it is difficult to monitor how well my work is going down, but when I am at the church I can see how many people are turning up to listen to me.
"I loved to make an impression when I was a player, and that hasn't changed. At my church, things happen.
"I'm very happy. I've found a way to combine my two passions in life. Not many people can say that." Football League

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